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In the game of competitive Pokémon, the Grass type is truly a mixed bag. In OU, Grass-types are few in a metagame dominated by Dragon- and Steel-types. In UU, however, there are many great Grass-types. While Grass's popularity between the tiers varies, it manages to fill numerous roles in balancing both metagames.
Breloom stands out as the pinnacle of Grass-type offense. With its monstrous 130 base Attack and STAB Focus Punch, Breloom has the ability to hit hard even with a resisted attack. Spore and Substitute give Breloom plenty of chances to fire off its extremely powerful Focus Punches, and Poison Heal lets it shake off the Substitute damage with ease. Its ability, Poison Heal, grants it virtual immunity to status.
Celebi is notable for its great diversity. With base 100 stats all around, it has the ability to fill various roles. Having access to 140 Base Power STAB Leaf Storm allows it to deal a great amount of damage with Life Orb attached. With setup moves like Calm Mind and Swords Dance, Celebi is an excellent choice for a setup sweeper. However, if sweeping with the green fairy directly is not your thing, Baton Pass out and send those stat boosts to an awaiting teammate.
Roserade is a distinguished offensive support Pokémon in OU. With access to Sleep Powder, Toxic Spikes, and Spikes, its only true dilemma is that Pokémon breeding won't let it have all three at the same time. The best way to play most Roserade is as a Toxic Spikes / Sleep Powder lead. With those two moves, Roserade handicaps a Pokémon while laying the groundwork for Pokémon like Suicune and Jirachi to set up a sweep. If your team has a niche for it, the specially bulky Spikes / Toxic Spikes set is a solid way of providing team support.
Shaymin is an excellent offensive option in OU. Having base 100 in every stat makes Shaymin a very versatile Pokémon. Access to its signature move, Seed Flare, makes it a significant threat to anything that is not prepared to counter it. A STAB base 120 power move with a 40% chance to harshly lower the target's Special Defense is a great asset to Shaymin.
The adaptable Celebi stands out as the premier defensive Grass type in OU. Its base 100 HP, Defense, and Special Defense allow it to tailor itself to deal with a number of different threats. Moves such as Recover and Reflect assure Celebi's longevity. If your team is worried about being set up on in general, Celebi can stop set ups with Perish Song. Limiting the time an opponent can leave a Pokémon in to a measly three turns prevents them from powering up and sweeping you. If you want to cripple opposing sweepers, Thunder Wave is a welcome option to a defensive Celebi set.
The offensively embellished Leafeon is a potent threat in the UU environment. With an excellent base 110 Attack and zippy base 95 Speed, Leafeon has the proper stats to pose an immediate threat to the opponent. Although its main STAB attack, Leaf Blade, lacks immediate power, it can be remedied by the effects of Swords Dance, which allows Leafeon to quickly double its Attack stat.
Ludicolo stands out as one of the premier rain sweepers of the metagame. The ability Swift Swim doubles Ludicolo's mediocre base 70 Speed stat. With a respectable base 90 Special Attack and the 50% power boost that the presence of rain grants its Water-type STAB, Ludicolo is a powerful sweeper. Its main STAB move, either Surf or Hydro Pump, is merely a question of power versus accuracy, and access to the move Rain Dance allows Ludicolo to be a self-supported rain sweeper. Its STAB Grass attacks allow it to combat bulky Water-types and other Rain Dance sweepers.
Sceptile's base 120 Speed, base 85 Attack, and base 105 Special Attack enable it to be a fantastic sweeper. On the special side, 140 Base Power STAB Leaf Storm is sure to leave a massive hole in nearly any opposing Pokémon. On the physical side, access to Swords Dance enables Sceptile to pose an immediate threat to even the bulkiest of walls.
Tangrowth's base 100 Attack and base 110 Special Attack make it an excellent mixed sweeper. Two excellent STABs, base 140 power Leaf Storm, and base 120 power Power Whip allow Tangrowth to attack from the special and physical sides respectively. If it cannot directly deal with an opposing Pokémon, Sleep Powder is a welcome avenue to cripple all who dare to cross Mojonbo.
Venusaur is yet another example of an excellent UU Grass sweeper. While base 82 Attack and base 100 Special Attack are nothing to call home about, access to moves like Leaf Storm and Power Whip make Venusaur an excellent Pokémon to use. While it has inferior attacking stats to Tangrowth, who has a very similar movepool, Venusaur's base 80 Speed gives it a jump on its painfully slow counterpart. It is also able to boost its Attack with Swords Dance, making it an effective bulky sweeper.
Torterra's dual Grass and Ground typing lend it an impressive STAB combination in the form of Wood Hammer and Earthquake, coming off 109 base Attack. While it is also quite slow, Rock Polish lets it attain the Speed it needs to sweep. Furthermore, Torterra gets a host of other moves, including Stone Edge, Superpower, and Crunch.
With gargantuan base 130 Defense, Leafeon makes an excellent physical wall. With healing moves Wish and Synthesis, Leafeon is assured longevity. Additional phazing moves such as Roar and Yawn help Leafeon rack up residual damage by forcing switches.
Tangrowth's great base 100 HP and exceptional base 125 Defense make it an amazing physical wall. With access to Synthesis, Tangrowth can adequately wall your opponent while healing itself. Sleep Powder is another great asset of Tangrowth. With it, the oversized sentient bush is able to cripple the opponent's attempts to sweep by taking one of their team members out of commission.
It is as a multi-purpose mixed defender that Venusaur really shines. It boasts well-rounded defenses of base 80 HP, 83 Defense, and 100 Special Defense, augmented by valuable resistances to Fighting-, Water-, Grass-, and Electric-type attacks. With healing in the form of Synthesis as well as access to Sleep Powder, Leech Seed, and Roar, Venusaur often forms an invaluable part of the Grass-Water-Fire defensive core so regularly seen in UU.
Leaf Blade – 90 Base Power – 100% Accuracy – 12.5% chance to score a critical hit.
A reliable Grass attack that is met with surprise value in OU and consistency in UU. In the former, the oft-overlooked physical Grass move is sure to score some surprise kills. In the latter, Leaf Blade serves as a reliable move to handle the game's multiple Ground and Water threats.
Power Whip – 120 Base Power – 85% Accuracy
A high-powered Grass attack that is only available to a select few lower-tier Pokémon. While 85% accuracy may seem shaky, the immense power of the attack makes this an excellent move to know.
Wood Hammer – 120 Base Power – 100% Accuracy – User takes recoil damage equal to 1/3 the damage dealt.
With base 120 power, Wood Hammer is sure to leave a hole in almost any Pokémon that does not resist it. However, such a strong move with 100% accuracy also has a negative 1/3 recoil damage secondary effect, so any sweeper using Wood Hammer may very well faint from the recoil damage.
Energy Ball – 80 Base Power – 100% Accuracy – 10% chance to lower the target's Special Defense by one stage.
Having 80 Base Power and 100% accuracy makes Energy Ball a reliable move to use. Often used as the alternative to Grass Knot, it is the superior choice if a player wants to hit lighter Pokémon harder.
Grass Knot – Base Power varies on weight of target – 100% Accuracy
Ranging from 20 to 120 Base Power, Grass Knot is an excellent move for hitting the hefties of the game. While it may be ideal for dispensing of Suicune, Swampert, and Gyarados, don't be surprised when it fails to scratch Vaporeon.
Leaf Storm – 140 Base Power – 90% Accuracy – Lowers user's Special Attack by two stages
Base 140 power and 90% accuracy make Leaf Storm an excellent move. The main drawback to using this move is the Special Attack drop the user encounters. Because of this negative side effect, users of Leaf Storm are often forced to switch in and out.
Seed Flare – 120 Base Power – 85% Accuracy – 40% chance to lower target's Special Defense by two stages.
A move exclusive to Shaymin and Shaymin-S, Seed Flare's 120 Base Power and 85% accuracy make it an excellent move. What makes Seed Flare a phenomenal move is its 40% chance to harshly lower the opponent's Special Defense, making even special walls afraid.
Aromatherapy – --% Accuracy – Heals status of user and teammates.
Aromatherapy is an excellent support move if your team can fit it. By simultaneously healing every Pokémon on the user's team, crippling status is a non-issue for any team that opts to have this move in its arsenal.
Leech Seed – 90% Accuracy – Drains 1/8 HP from target and gives HP to player's current Pokémon; does not affect Grass Pokémon or Pokémon with Liquid Ooze.
Draining the life out of the enemy is what Leech Seed is for. Stealing HP away from the opponent and giving it to your own Pokémon allows a player to gradually weaken the opposing team while strengthening his own.
Sleep Powder – 75% Accuracy – Puts target to sleep.
Immobilizing an opposing threat for 1-6 turns disrupts the synergy of the opposing team while buying time for the player who used it. It is an excellent move used to gain an upper hand.
Spore – 100% Accuracy – Puts target to sleep.
Spore is basically Sleep Powder with perfect accuracy. A fail-proof way to put an opposing Pokémon to sleep makes Spore an exceptional attack.
Stun Spore – 75% Accuracy – Paralyzes the target.
With a 75% chance to paralyze its target, Stun Spore is an excellent move for crippling opposing sweepers. By quartering their Speed and giving them a 25% chance of failing to move each turn, Stun Spore can turn the deadliest sweepers into easy pickings.
Synthesis – --% Accuracy – Heals 1/2 HP in no weather, 1/3 in rain, hail, and sandstorm, and 2/3 in sun.
Synthesis is always an option for a Pokémon wishing to stick around on the field for a long time. By healing the user, Synthesis makes it significantly harder for the Pokémon to be fainted since HP is readily regained. Unfortunately, in OU it is somewhat unreliable, due to the prevalence of sandstorm.
Grass is a fascinating type. It is one of the few types that fills offensive, defensive, and support roles adequately. When utilizing the Grass type, the options of moves and Pokémon are enormous. While Grass is a bit of a niche type in the OU environment, it still manages to find its place with reliable moves and solid potential teammates. In UU, where it truly shines, Grass is a pillar of the metagame. No other type can boast the viability and diversity that Grass boasts in the UU environment. Ultimately, with so many moves and Pokémon, the Grass type has always been a solid part of the metagame and will continue to be.
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